Canada’s first Out of doors Rec-Tech Summit will get Kimberley into gear

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Do you love the great outdoors and all the state of the art gear that often goes with it?

A conference unique to Canada hosted by The Kootenay Outdoor Recreation Enterprise in the Kimberley this fall is for you.

The Outdoor Rec-Tech Summit, scheduled for October 19-21, will be dedicated to outdoor rec-tech manufacturing and product design, with an emphasis on highlighting the Kootenays as a place to do business.

According to Robyn Peel, community economic development coordinator at Community Futures East Kootenay, the summit is for everyone involved in the manufacture of outdoor gear, whether it’s through creating, nurturing, managing or dreaming.

The conference includes two full days of sessions with knowledgeable and entertaining speakers and presentations, breakfast and lunch each day, and an optional stay and game day on October 22nd with local experts.

“This is a great opportunity to bring these designers and manufacturers together with those working in economic development to really promote this sector and the great work they are doing in our region,” Peel said.

There are nine confirmed guest speakers so far, including Dustin Adams, CEO of We Are Composites, a Kamloops-based bike and gear manufacturer. His presentation will focus on corporate reshoring in Canada and the associated benefits and limitations within the industry and the Kootenays.

Megan Zeeb, a sustainability expert, will also speak. She has worked with REI, mountainFLOW eco-wax and Out&Back Outdoor in various capacities to drive sustainability initiatives in the industry. Her lecture deals with the topic of sustainability in ski production.

Other speakers will cover topics such as supply chain security, product innovation, academia-industry collaboration, industry network development, product launch case studies and financing alternatives.

KORE is in contact with another 10 speakers in hopes of bringing 19 guest pros onto the schedule.

The summit is open through August 31 with a $300 early bird registration fee. Regular application fee after September 1st is $350.

Peel explained that the conference will be filled with tinkerers, designers and engineers who have a passion for nature.

“We celebrate that these people exist and then help them to be functioning, healthy, resilient, vibrant companies that will last over the long term,” she said. “Most of us choose to be here because we love nature and we like to get out and be a part of it.”

KORE manufacturers will have the opportunity to exhibit their products at the conference and there will also be a Discover Kootenays Expo which will support economic development and promote Kootenays as a place to do business.

Peel emphasized that KORE made networking increasingly possible for the outdoor rec-tech sector and allowed people to be a part of something bigger.

“Hopefully it will promote businesses across Canada on how we can promote this sector,” she said. “Before KORE existed, a few years ago many companies were independent and less connected.”

There are also opportunities for students to pay a $50 application fee and be inspired to become a ski designer, bike manufacturer, or other outdoor rec-tech industry creators.

“I’m really excited about this because it gives kids in the area an opportunity to see a potentially different path, to turn their passion into a long-term business, and to be inspired by these other creators,” Peel shared.

20 places have been allocated for the Youth Legacy scholarship program. Interested youth please contact KORE at [email protected]

If you are interested in being a part of the Discover Kootenay exhibit, please contact Robyn Peel of Community Futures East Kootenay at [email protected]